HPV is a dangerous virus. Find out more.
Jabs For The Boys: let's beat HPV
Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cancer and other serious diseases in both sexes.
Girls in the UK have been vaccinated since 2008. HPV vaccination for boys started in September 2019.
What is HPV?
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the name for a group of viruses that affect the skin and moister areas of the body such as the cervix, anus, mouth and throat.
HPV is usually passed on through sexual or skin-to-skin contact. It causes 5% of all cancers in men and women as well as other diseases.
But isn't there an HPV vaccine?
Since 2008, all girls in the UK have been offered the vaccine by the NHS with the result that, today, the vast majority of girls are vaccinated.
HPV vaccination for boys in the UK started in September 2019.
So why weren't boys vaccinated from the start?
When HPV vaccination began in the UK, there was less evidence about the cancers the virus could cause in men. It was also assumed that vaccinating girls would protect boys.
But it quickly became clear that HPV led to many cases of cancer in men and that only vaccinating girls cannot protect men effectively. The government’s vaccination advisers started to look at whether boys should be vaccinated in 2013 but it took them five years to make a final decision.